The Big 12-Big East Battle enters its third season in the 2021-22 season, and here we rank the contests from best to worst.
1. Villanova at Baylor, Dec. 12, Waco, Texas
So, the defending national champions (Baylor) will face the 2016 and 2018 national champions (Villanova) in what is almost certain to be a showcase game on a Sunday. Hard to imagine why that would be No. 1 on this list. By the way, love that these two teams seem to keep playing each other every year.
2. UConn at West Virginia, Dec. 8, Morgantown, WV
Anytime you can get WVU against one of its former Big East rivals its worth a look (and, thanks to this agreement, we get one every year). The Mountaineers are coming off an NCAA Tournament berth. UConn won 15 games last season, finished third in the Big East in the regular season and lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Maryland.
3. Marquette at Kansas State, Dec. 8, Manhattan, Kansas
Both teams look evenly matched, given their records from a year ago. Plus, former Texas coach Shaka Smart, now at Marquette, makes his return to a Big 12 venue. Maybe it’s not a matchup of heavyweights, but it has potential to be a fun, entertaining game.
4. Kansas at St. John’s, Dec. 2, Elmont, NY
The Jayhawks and Red Storm will play in a neutral site, UBS Arena, which is in Elmont, NY, and is the new home for the New York Islanders. Kansas reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season, while St. John’s failed to reach the Tournament but won 16 games and should be much improved.
5. Texas at Seton Hall, Dec. 5, Newark, NJ
The Longhorns have a new head coach in Chris Beard (in case you haven’t heard). The Pirates are coming off a season in which they won 14 games. Texas is 2-1 all-time against Seton Hall.
6. Xavier at Oklahoma State, Dec. 5, Stillwater, Oklahoma
Oklahoma State reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament, while Xavier won 13 games (13-8 overall) but failed to make the NCAA Tournament.
7. Texas Tech at Providence, Dec. 1, Providence, RI
The Red Raiders were an NCAA Tournament team in 2021, but the Friars were a .500 team. The Red Raiders have a new coach in Mark Adams.
8. TCU at Georgetown, Dec. 18, Washington, D.C.
Georgetown was a .500 team last year, while TCU was an under .500 team last year and was decimated by transfers. This one could get lopsided.
9. Butler at Oklahoma, Dec. 7, Norman, Oklahoma
Butler finished under-.500 a year ago. OU made the NCAA Tournament last season, but Lon Kruger retired, Porter Moser took over and the majority of the roster transferred out.
10. Iowa State at Creighton, Dec. 4, Omaha, Nebraska
This was a bad idea. Iowa State is coming off a two-win season. Creighton won 22 games and finished second in the Big East, reaching the Sweet 16. I mean, I know they’re close, but …
Big 12 Basketball Preview
Top 25 Returning Players: No. 25 Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua| No. 24 Christian Braun | No. 23 Rondel Walker | No. 22 Umoja Gibson | No. 21 Matthew Alexander-Moncrieffe | No. 20 Nijel Pack | No. 19: Marcus Santos-Silva | No. 18 Mike McGuirl| No. 17 Jalen Bridges | No. 16 Kalib Boone | No. 15 Kevin McCullar | No. 14 Isaac Likekele | No. 13 Adam Flagler | No. 12 Jalen Coleman-Lands
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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